Proverbs Chapter 19
Proverbs 19:1 “Better [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than [he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”
We see in this poor man, someone who is poor in earthly goods only. He walks in his integrity; lets us know that he is not willing to gain the world’s goods by any hook or crook. He is satisfied in the state that he has found himself in. He will follow Jesus whatever state he is in.
In contrast to him, we see someone who tells lies (perverse lips), and will do most anything. The Scripture above does not state it but implies that the second is rich, because he has gotten that way in an evil process.
Integrity is better than wealth.
Proverbs 19:2 “Also, [that] the soul [be] without knowledge, [it is] not good; and he that hasteth with [his] feet sinneth.”
We see here someone who is hurrying to get nowhere. He is without direction in his life. He is a foolish man who doesn’t understand what he is doing and begins anyway.
Rashness which is the result of ignorance brings trouble. That type of person errs which means that they miss the mark.
Proverbs 19:3 “The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.”
It is man and his own foolish lust that causes sin in his life. He cannot blame anyone else. We see here that in this particular instance this man is complaining.
The fool blames God for his troubles and failures.
Generally speaking, we bring our problems on ourselves.
Proverbs 19:4 “Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor.”
This literally means that wealth adds new friends while poverty alienates existing friends who grow weary of the demands of the poor.
We see that fleshly people who are not led by the Spirit run to those who have money to be their friend. Perhaps, they feel some of this will rub off on them. Since poor people have nothing they want, they don’t visit them much. This is in direct opposition to what Jesus taught. People who do this are respecters of persons because of position and wealth.
Proverbs 19:5 “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall not escape.”
We discussed this in a previous lesson. False witnessing is called perjury and is a crime. Even today in our society perjury is a crime punishable by imprisonment or fine. Even if a liar gets away with it here on earth, God knows if you have lied and He will punish the guilty.
Proverbs 19:6 “Many will entreat the favor of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts.”
We see here in both instances someone who loves to receive things that they have not worked to get. They think this prince may give them a position in government. In the second instance, every man means it is the world’s way to enjoy free gifts.
Generosity or bribery could be the issue here.
Proverbs 19:7 “All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth [them with] words, [yet] they [are] wanting [to him].”
In verse 7, we see that they feel like since he is poor, there is no way to make anything off of him; and so they stop going around him thinking he might want something they have. He begs them to come back, but they don’t listen, because they think if they do come back, they will have to help him. This is a sorry lot that will not help their brother.
This goes hand in hand with verse four where we said: This literally means that wealth adds new friends while poverty alienates existing friends who grow weary of the demands of the poor.
Proverbs 19:8 “He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.”
A person who seeks wisdom seeks God. We know that wisdom is a gift from God. Truly all Christians should pray to receive wisdom. In the second part of this, I see someone who looks for good. A person who understands is not always looking for the dark side of life.
Proverbs 19:9 “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall perish.”
Again, witnessing falsely is perjury and punishable by imprisonment or fine. Perhaps, this is not speaking of court. Even if the witness is between neighbors, when the truth comes out, there will be punishment even if that punishment is those neighbors will not have anything to do with you because they cannot believe a thing you say. No one likes or wants to be around a liar.
Proverbs 19:10 “Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.”
Neither are suited for possessions or responsibilities beyond their capabilities of managing wisely.
This is probably speaking of someone unwise who acquires sudden riches, fame or position, and really is not equipped to handle the job at hand. Arrogance, conceit, and pride are a by-product of wealth and power thrust on someone who has not been prepared to handle it. The only way a person would be able to handle this situation would be to humble themselves before God and cry out for His help.
Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and [it is] his glory to pass over a transgression.”
We see here a man slow to anger. This Scripture is just saying a Christian who can overlook little injustices done to them by others is putting more stones in his crown he will wear in heaven. When we are forgiving others, we are making sure God will forgive us. Forgive and ye shall be forgiven.
Proverbs 19:12 “The king’s wrath [is] as the roaring of a lion; but his favor [is] as dew upon the grass.”
This is a call to governmental authority.
The king frightens the people under him. He has the say over them as to whether they live or die (in this world). His favor is desired by all his subjects, because he can see to it that they prosper or fail.
Proverbs 19:13 “A foolish son [is] the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife [are] a continual dropping.”
We have gone into it before how a foolish son brings heartache and sorrow to the father.
Now we see that a wife who is continually complaining is almost impossible to bear. This continual dropping is pure and simple nagging. Many women, that wonder why their husbands seem to stay away from home as much as possible, could check out and see if they are nagging when he is home.
An obstinate, argumentative woman is literally like a leak so unrelenting that one has to run from it or go mad. Here are two ways to devastate a man: an ungodly son and an irritating wife.
A person’s home should be a pleasant refuge, not a place with no rest. In our day, the table here could be reversed. Men should not nag, either.
Proverbs 19:14 “House and riches [are] the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife [is] from the LORD.”
I believe this Scripture is saying that you may inherit great riches from your father and have a big home, but you cannot buy a good woman. One receives inheritance as a family blessing.
For a man to receive a good Christian wife with wonderful principles is a gift from God. “Prudent” really goes into a lot of virtues. She would be industrious and intelligent, as well as being a Christian.
A wise wife is a result of divine blessing.
Proverbs 19:15 “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.”
Laziness and sleeping long hours go together. No one will hire a lazy person to work, if they know they are lazy. If a person doesn’t work, there is no money to buy food with; so we see hunger.
Laziness for any length of time will affect your thinking, as well, and you will get to where you can’t think clear thoughts. The doctors say now that a vigorous walk of 2 miles or more makes you think better.
While laziness leads to poverty, laziness is not always the cause of poverty.
Proverbs 19 Questions
- In verse 1, we see it is not talking about just a poor man, but what kind of a poor man?
- What is implied in verse 1 by the man of perverse lips?
- A man that hasteth with his feet __________.
- Whose heart fretteth against God?
- Who is generally the cause of all of man’s problems?
- Wealth maketh many __________.
- Who shall not go unpunished?
- Every man is a friend of someone who does what?
- Explain why verse 7 says a poor man’s brothers hate him.
- When you are seeking wisdom, you are seeking ____________.
- Who likes a liar?
- In verse 10, who is it speaking of?
- What is their attitude?
- A man who defers anger, gets what when he overlooks a transgression?
- What is the king’s wrath compared to?
- Who is the calamity of his father?
- What is like a continual dropping in verse 13?
- In verse 14, houses and riches are what?
- Can he buy a good wife with all his riches? Explain.
- What is slothfulness?
- In verse 15, we find that an idle soul shall what?
- What have doctors in recent years discovered that lets us know that activity makes us think better?